The government has dismissed reports that the burial site of freedom fighter Dedan Kimathi has been found at Kamiti Maximum Prison.
Kimathi’s family had issued a statement on Friday stating that that the site where the Mau Mau fighter was buried had been found, 62 years ago after he was executed by the colonialists.
In a statement on Saturday evening, the Ministry of Interior stated that the reports were false and misleading.
“Our attention has been drawn to news on some platforms that the grave of our freedom fighter Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi has been found at Kamiti Prison. Please note these claims are FALSE and MISLEADING, ” a tweet from the ministry reads.
Our attention has been drawn to news on some platforms that the grave of our freedom fighter Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi has been found at Kamiti Prison. Please note these claims are FALSE and MISLEADING.
— Ministry of Interior (@InteriorKE) October 26, 2019
Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna also dismissed the reports saying there was no way a search could be conducted at Kamiti without the knowledge and approval of the commandant of prisons and described Kimathi’s announcement “an expression of interest.”
Evelyn Wanjugu Kimathi, the CEO Dedan Kimathi Foundation had described the site as an unmarked gravesite inside the prison.
“This development is not only just great news for the Dedan Kimathi family but also the larger freedom struggle heroes fraternity,” the statement reads in part.
Ms Wanjugu, who is also the daughter of the late Kimathi, said that they are now waiting for orders from the Chief Justice David Maraga to allow for the excavation and exhumation of Kimathi’s remains for a decent burial.
She has insisted that she had credible information from former freedom fighters imprisoned with her father about his grave.
“Several people have signed affidavits to prove the exact place where he was buried. All they want is the government to allow them to access the prison and the order to exhume the body,” she told a local media.
Kimathi, regarded as a revolutionary leader, who led the armed military struggle against the British colonial regime, was shot in the leg and captured by an askari called Ndirangu on October 21, 1956.
His capture marked the beginning of the end of the forest war. He was charged with possession of a firearm, and ammunition.
According to history recordings, a court presided over by Chief Justice O’Connor and with an all-black jury of Kenyans sentenced him to death while he lay in a hospital bed at the General Hospital Nyeri. His appeal was dismissed, and the death sentence upheld.
Following the ruling, the noose was put around his neck in 1957 at the Kamiti Maximum Prison.
His body was later buried at an unknown location.